Thursday, September 30, 2010

Autumn Morning Breakfast - Apple Craisin Maple Rolls Plus

 With the cooler mornings my thoughts tend to turn to warm comfort foods for breakfast. I have a couple of bags of apples in the fridge waiting to be sauced so I decided to create a breakfast roll that would satisfy my craving for apples and maple, with a touch of cranberries.
 The beauty of this recipe is that I got 8 large rolls, and one loaf of bread out of the batch. I was also able to use some sour milk I had on hand. With just the two of us a gallon of milk doesn't always get used like it should so instead of water I used that.
These are sweet without being overly sugary and have just the right amount of fruit without being too much. Not your typical sweet roll recipe, I used my standard bread recipe with some modifications so here it is. I hope you give it a try!

Apple Craisin Maple Rolls Plus
 bread dough
2 1/2 cups warmed sour or regular milk
2 T. yeast
1/3 c. honey
2 T. molasses
1 1/2 c. old fashioned oats
3 heaping tablespoons flax seed powder
3 T. apple sauce
3 T. oil
2 t. salt
6 or more cups white flour, or you can add a bit of whole wheat if you like
4 small apples cored, sliced and chopped
1 c. chopped Craisins
1/4 cup each brown and white sugar
1 T. lemon juice
1/4 t. each ground cloves, allspice and cardamom
1/2 t. nutmeg
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 c. chopped pecans or walnuts
1/4 c. flour
softened butter

Combine warmed milk, yeast, honey, molasses, oats, applesauce and flax seed powder in mixing bowl. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add oil and salt along with 3 cups of flour. Turn mixer on low and combine. Add more flour, 1-2 cups and mix on stir. Dough should be forming a ball by this time, knead either by hand on a floured board, or using the mixer, adding 1/4 cup of flour at a time if still sticky. Knead by hand for 10 minutes, until nice smooth ball forms, or by mixer 5 minutes dusting with flour until dough no longer sticks to sides of bowl. Place dough in bowl and let rise for about 30 minutes. Turn oven on to 375 degrees.
While dough is rising combine filling ingredients in a medium bowl and oil a 9 x 13 pan as well as 1 large loaf pan. After dough has risen for 30 minutes divide in half. Form one half into a loaf and place in loaf pan. The other half roll out on floured board to make a 10 x 14 inch rectangle. With a pastry brush lightly brush dough with butter. Spread apple mixture over the dough out to the edges. Roll up the long side and slice into 8 rolls. Place in oiled cake pan and let both bread and rolls rise for 30 minutes or until the bread loaf  is 1 1/2 inches above the pan. Bake one level above the bottom rack level, rolls for 25 minutes and bread for 35. Immediately take bread out of pan and place on rack to cool. Combine 2 cups powdered sugar with 2 t. maple flavoring. Add just enough water to make a smooth and thick but pourable glaze. Drizzle glaze over rolls and serve. Enjoy!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fighting the Weight Battle and Winning....

I've found that the best tool to help me lose weight is the bathroom scale. No fancy diets, no "plans" or medications, expensive products, or exercise equipment can take the place of knowing where you are on the scale.
Of course you need to watch what you eat, exercise, and get plenty of rest in the process of fighting the weight battle, but it doesn't matter if you don't have a way to monitor how you are doing. That's why the weekly meetings some plans have, have weigh ins.
I check my weight daily. Obsessive perhaps, but it tells me if I'm eating too much, and tells me if I'm still losing or staying the same. My goal is to lose a pound a week to every two weeks. As long as I don't gain during that time I'm fine. If I start to gain then I can assess what I need to do, whether it's exercise more, or just eat less of those things that aren't good for me.
No, I'm not starving, I have plenty of fruit and veggies on hand as well as nuts, whole grain chips and crackers. We eat normal meals such as tonight, when we will have Chicken A La King over rice, with some sort of veggie as a side. I'm making peach pie for dessert because it's FHE night, but I will have a smaller slice and only half a scoop of ice cream on the side. I don't believe that losing weight means giving up everything good tasting, or enjoyable, though we really love fresh foods and dishes made from scratch so we never feel deprived.
So, if I can say anything to anyone trying to lose weight, start with getting a good scale. Have a plan for exercise. I walk with friends 3 days a week, and Kent and I will take a nightly stroll when we can. I also ride my stationary recumbent bike2-3 times a week, which takes up little space in our back room. Sunday is a day of rest and recuperation, which is vital to a good weight loss plan. Our bike cost $150 and the scale about $30 dollars. Such a deal when you consider the health benefits and money saved in going to the doctor, or buying into all the other expensive plans, equipment or "helps". How much weight have I lost this summer? 16 lbs so far, with 25 to go. It works for me!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Chili Green Beans

You read right, Chili Green Beans is a wonderful concoction Mom came up with when we had an over abundance of green beans one year. I don't often have fresh green beans so I haven't made this much over the years, but we had a few in our Oregon garden and bought some from our favorite produce stand on the way back to Utah last week. Kent was a bit leery of the whole idea, we were too when Mom first served them to us, but he ate 4 bowls of it and wanted more. I loved it when Mom made it, but have had to come up with my own version as we don't have her recipes. So here's my version. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Chili Green Beans

1 lb. burger
2 c. chopped onion
1 c. chopped celery
1 bell pepper, chopped
4 c. fresh green beans, cut into bite size pieces
2 t. each seasoning salt and cumin powder
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 t. each italian seasoning and dried basil
3 T. mild chili powder
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
1 pint canned tomatoes
1 pint tomato sauce
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 c. water
1 chopped jalepeno, if desired

Brown burger and then add chopped onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic, saute until soft. Add the rest of the ingredients, cover and bring to bubbling over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Turn down to a simmer and let cook until green beans are done. Serve with corn bread.